Roller Coaster

The response blew me away.

And I just knew I had to share some of these responses with you. Responses that were too valuable to be kept for my eyes only.

I sent an email a while back to members of the Refuge of Simplicity with a subject of “How Do You Get Off a Roller Coaster? (and Feeling the *Tsh Tsh* Again).”

In it, I disclosed that I wasn't of the right mind lately.

I went on to explain that even when things occasionally feel “down” for me, the universe still feels (mostly) like sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.

But The Digital Launch Playbook had me bummed, and energizing conversations with friends only lasted until my next frustrating moment. Moments like having to find a bazillion Creative Commons images for my Experience Curating presentation.

So what's the dealio with this “*Tsh Tsh*” thing?

Well… I was terrified (terrified!) with roller coasters until I was about ten. Then my dad forced me or convinced me (I can't remember which) to ride one and… the thrill! Oh, the thrill!

I understood what people meant when they say their lives are like a roller coaster ever since riding that first one. My life is like a roller coaster too, but normally the big drop never materializes.

It's usually just **tsh tsh…tsh tsh…tsh tsh** for me – the sound of a system slowly propelling me forward and upward – as the track keeps rising. Slowly, but steadily.

(I'm incredibly grateful for the way this normally works.)

But then I finally went over the big dip, and it wasn't thrilling. It was unsettling.

I was still moving forward, but down, down, down… before eventually coming back up into my typical **tsh tsh**.

Then another unexpected drop would come and with it, the negative self-talk would start and foreign feelings would bubble up.

(Unfortunately, I misplaced the “off” switch for this ride.)

I think this is the way all newish entrepreneurs feel and I just avoided the rite of passage for a while. However, I needed help getting back on track and the newsletter community delivered big-time!

I asked a number of the wonderful people who replied to my email if I could share their wisdom with you. Thankfully, many said yes. So here's the insight of some seriously smart people for your benefit who have “been there, done that.”


“Here is my wisdom, born of experience – lots of experience. 🙂

Don't resist the feeling. Allow it. This has required a lot of practice on my part, and finding the tools that work best for me to do it. You will find your own, but here are some of mine; perhaps they will inspire you:

There is no resistance if you don't push back.

(Tweet that)

[I often] visualize the experience as a big wave, either washing over me or even knocking me down. I either get up afterward, or rest on the beach for a while. The wave may come and go many, many times. Write your feeling(s) on an index card and put the card in your pocket (literally). Then just go on about your life. Prove that you can feel crushed or down or whatever and still function. Separating feelings from [the] ability to act. Visualize the feeling walking beside you.

Next, actively change your thinking. The best tool I have ever found for this is David Burns' ‘Daily Mood Log.' This is a cognitive-therapy based tool and it is relatively self-explanatory. Basically, you look for ‘cognitive distortions' in your thinking and dispute them. ‘Nuff said, except one very important thing: you actually have to write/type on the form. 🙂

May you find the way that is exactly right for you.

~ Lynne

Joel's note: I later found out that Lynne has been crowned the “Queen of Internet Research” by her friends. Now this is a good person to know.


“Ya know, I had some serious mojo misalignment that dissipated when I started regularly doing yoga and meditating. [It was about] slowing my mind down to a place where I could let things be [and] accept things as they are. [But] I'm back to the mojo misalignment. Perhaps due to being in a state of flux about the things I want to do with my life? Times of change contribute to mojo misalignment.

Also, [you should consider] seeing this mojo misalignment as part of your track, rather than something you need to counteract and leave behind to “get back on track.”


Roller Coaster

“Hello Joel,

I can totally relate to this and it would be nice to help in some small way, so here goes…

I am reading a book named Unleash the Warrior Within by Richard Machowicz. He applies his accomplishments as a Navy SEAL to create a toolset for all manner of projects, goals and aspirations.

One of the things he mentions is how important inner dialogue is. I have started to monitor my thoughts and every time I am entertaining negative thoughts, I replace them with a ‘quality question.'

It's really ‘quality questions' that have so much to offer as opposed to always looking for ‘answers.' [In this way] I have remodeled my inner dialogue and created a toolset of my own.

One of my favorite parts of this book is about fear. Its impact on us all is life-limiting and just plain sad. At some point recently, I [started] thinking about fear in my own life. [So] I decided to borrow Albert Einstein's method for establishing my own ‘outlook equations.'

I rode an imaginary beam of light to the end of my life and looked back. I came to the conclusion that nothing in life could be as frightening as not having thrown yourself fully into it. What could feel any worse than realizing you didn't get it, or say it, or do it?

Another formative moment occurred during of all things, a comedy/reality show called An Idiot Abroad. They send this guy to the holiest place they can find in India and he is at the end of his stay while attending a festival there. At the end of the show, it occurs to him to ask this renowned Holy man, ‘What is the most important thing you can tell me after all your studies?' And without hesitation, he replies, ‘Please try to love yourself.'

How many of us have no plan for that? I believe the true answer to that would be staggering. ‘Love myself? For what?' That's my quality question for today.”


“Oh Joel!

I am thinking you know this shall pass. Right?

Okay, here's what I've learned: it passes more quickly, with more ease, if I “allow” it. If I do not resist it, but, rather, acknowledge (to myself) how I am feeling, really feel it, and do no more.

Do not try to “do” anything with it, except feel it. And breathe. And, sometimes slowly, sometimes instantly, it eases. The problem or the cause may not have changed at all, but my response to it has changed. I feel lighter and better able to address it in whatever way is appropriate, depending on what “it” is.

I'm most likely not telling you anything you don't already know, but, for once, I thought I'd share.

With warm regards,



“Hi Joel,

I feel for you. I agree that most people do go through funks from time to time and sometimes they last for a while and can come in waves.

Try thinking of these periods as a learning experience. They give us more empathy toward others. They make me feel more appreciative for the little things that mean so much – like just feeling content, not wanting anything.

Most people are on a quest to find success in some way and, as we age, we feel like we are no closer to making it than when we were many years ago.

When I feel down, I try to do nice things for myself that are easy and beneficial and nurturing. For example: let some chores go, take a hot bath while listening to relaxing music, [or] go to bed early and fix something warm to drink like tea. Sometimes I organize my closet or bedroom and look for things to give away/donate or throw away. Organizing helps me have control over one art of my life and provides a sense of peace. It can also distract you from what is nagging at you.

Other times I will do a small thing for someone else – maybe just send a card to say hello. Or give a sincere compliment. Sometimes I do an anonymous favor. It gives me a secret thrill.

Try giving yourself the advice you would to a friend, brother, sister, or child if they were in your situation. Also, think of what is the worst thing that could happen. We learn much more from mistakes and struggles. When things come easy, we just expect it.

Remember [that] this too shall pass. The bad and the good.

~ Lisa”

The Takeaway

I learned a lot from this collective insight besides confirming that we have awesome people in our community.

This too shall pass… and did. I believe part of my funk's quick departure was due to this outpouring of support and quality guidance.

Lynne, Fern, Jay, and Lisa: thank you for helping me and many other people get off the roller coaster!

And if you don't have access to the Refuge of Simplicity yet, consider joining now.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Have some gratitude for this insight or want to add your own? Let's hear it in the comments!

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee, Dean Thorpe